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Poodle with a MAJOR attitude!

March 28th, 2005, 11:26 AM
Hey gang.
Just thought I'd post this and get some opinions.

Our neighbour has a mini-poodle, Max. Well, Max is almost 2 and has a horrible attitude. He rules the roost, and when the owners try to put their foot down to correct him....angry dog! He nips, growls, and has resorted to biting. Now, he only does this to them. When we're over he's the pefect angel to us...almost to the exact oposite of how he is with them. If I call him over, he may start a little submissive peeing, or will pee a little when I reach down to pet him. I'm guessing he senses I'll not put up with that nonsense and he sees how I am with Diamond.

They're at their wits end and are ready to throw in the towel. I honestly don't know what they're going to do with him. They (or rather the wife) loves him to bits, but can't tolerate his dominance. I know he's bitten her a few times, but this last one is quite bad. She's giving him another chance, but if he bites her again, or the husband, I'm thinking she'll have him put to sleep.

I've love to take him but there's a problem. Diamond would LOVE to play and play and play, but he's so scared of her (she jumped the fence one day while he was outside, because the snow was piled very high and she "walked" over). He used to bark his head off and they'd run back and forth barking at each other on their own respective sides of the fence. But he won't even cross her path anymore to go from their door to the backyard thinking she can get to him. I don't see it being a good idea that we do take him, but I don't want to see him put down because he's biting.

I'll take any suggestions!!

March 28th, 2005, 12:25 PM
A friend has just hired a personal dog trainer for her poodle - even though he's not bad like the poodle you mentioned, just in need of training - and it's working a treat. My poodle can try the dominance thing as she is very clever and adorable, but I am learning to be firmer and more consistant. If you wanted the telephone number, I could get it for you, but it is in Toronto though.

March 28th, 2005, 12:33 PM
Thanks Daizy. I don't think they're willing to hire out a trainer from Toronto. I could probably train the dog myself, but I don't think it would do them any good to have me in their house...laying down the law...and leaving them to his mercy when I'm done. Like I said... he listens to me, but not them.

Oh, I forgot to mention... I printed out an article, from, that was posted a while ago about dominant dogs. I gave it to them and they said it was working, but I don't know if they're carrying on with that training. I think they may have given up when he started fighting back.

March 28th, 2005, 12:55 PM
Why is the only other option putting him down? Why wouldn't you just take him for a bit and train the snappiness out of him and adopt him out to a better home? It's the same as kids-- some kids are horrible with their parents and as soon as the parents leave the room the kids are perfect. You just have to find out what the reward for this snappiness is and eliminate it. If it's that the owners are afraid of a bite, the dog wins... I mean this dog is, what, 20-30 lbs? A dog that small is not hard to overpower unless they are afraid of it.

This little guy just had to stop getting his way and the owners have to be less afraid of him...

March 28th, 2005, 01:18 PM
I would take him, but I can't. He is SO scared of Diamond and hates her. Before she jumped the fence, he would vibrate and try to bite her, he was so angry. Now, he runs from her whenever possible since she jumped the fence. If I took him it would be a scary scene at my house.

If there's a good chance that this is the only people he's like this with, then I'd suggest to them to put him for adoption. But, he's bitten to draw blood more than once...and he knows it works.

March 28th, 2005, 01:24 PM
I have known 2 golden retrievers who drew the blood of their masters and they would be absolutely fine in a new home. Just be sure they specify that the dog needs a firm, strong owner who is willing to extensively train the dog.

March 28th, 2005, 01:26 PM
Yeah, thanks Prin! I'm going to suggest they put him up for adoption. Like I said, I would take him but I wouldn't even want to go home it would be such a bad scene!

I need a dog that Diamond can play and play with. Of course, I have to convince the wife first. :sad:

March 28th, 2005, 01:29 PM
A miniature poodle would be more like 15 pounds. Den-Den is 14 pounds. It sounds like the owners aren't being consistant - letting the dog get by with it and giving up. These pups are so fluffy and cute that it's easy to spoil them rotten. Super-intelligent, they can be strong-willed as well and know how to get their way. Den-Den was my "wild child" and had me in tears a couple times. But I stuck with it and he's the sweetest, most sensitive little guy now. If they're giving up, they're admitting failure on their own part, and will probably have the same problem with the next pup. Den-Den acted out for attention - didn't care if it was good or bad. Eventually, he got to know the difference.

March 28th, 2005, 01:34 PM
We always had poodles growing up and they are the smartest bred, like a young child you must do the same thing daily.
Must be consistant and this dog will learn, hope everything works out.

Lucky Rescue
March 28th, 2005, 01:48 PM
If I call him over, he may start a little submissive peeing, or will pee a little when I reach down to pet him.

I am very concerned with every behavior problem in dogs - usually caused by the owner - being called "dominance".

Believe me - dominant dogs do NOT submissively urinate.

What happened is likely what happens with lots of little dogs. Owners don't bother training or correcting them and then dump them for behavior probs.

This little dog seems to have been given the Alpha position in the home, and that is a position he cannot handle (since he pees submissively) and now he is both insecure and aggressive and totally confused.

Truly dominant dogs do not put up these big displays of aggression since they are very confident in their position.

This dog should go to obedience school so the owners can learn how to train him. He will be MUCH happier when he finds his correct position in the home - a submissive one.

March 29th, 2005, 08:53 AM
I agree with everything everone said here. Believe me, I know it's a training issue. I have a very busy schedule.. outside working hours.. and I'm considering telling them I'll go over and do training with them on a daily basis. It's hard to do as they both work opposite shifts to each other... him on days... her on evenings.

He submissive pees only around me. With them he's growly, snappy, and downright nasty. He jumps up when HE wants to be petted and barks for attention. I think...if I can't find time to go and train him for them... I'll talk to a rescue shelter. I really do wish I could take him... but Diamond just freaks him out since the fence thing.

I'm going to suggest we all go out for dinner on Friday and we'll talk over their situation then. Maybe we can all come up with a solution.